Dear IMS Friends and Partners,

When I joined Independence Mission Schools over four years ago, it was an honor to become the President & CEO of an organization that had been accomplishing so many positive things in underserved neighborhoods. For about a decade, IMS has provided an enriching academic Catholic education at an affordable cost, annually serving 4,000 students across 14 schools.

Through what can be considered one of the most tumultuous times in as long as most of us can recall, IMS remains a vibrant, visible presence in neighborhoods where poverty and a general lack of resources make everyday life a challenge for so many families.

IMS is on a strong path forward, and its future is bright. The time is right for a new leader to take the reins and continue to make great strides forward, Therefore, I will be stepping down from my position as President & CEO at the end of this school year.

Many achievements have occurred during the past four years, including the development of a comprehensive Strategic Plan and an ambitious campaign to support it, the implementation of a new English and Math curriculum across all schools, enhanced faculty training and a focus on ensuring high-quality teachers and school leaders, and the swift creation of a robust remote learning program, which minimized student learning loss. With committed partners we also made headways in efforts of digital equity, moving from schools and households with minimal technology to ensure all students gained access to chrome books or similar technology and no-cost internet access.

My goal four years ago was to craft a strong vision for the future, create stability through collaborative leadership, and become a strong and positive champion of the organization. How do we take the organization from a survival mindset to a top-rate academic option for families? How do we improve the student and family experience at our schools? How do we create financial stability to ensure a long-term future for our schools? With the support of the Board of Directors, we worked with a cross-section of constituents to develop a five-year strategic plan, Reimagining Our Future, which specifically addresses these issues and concerns, and will continue through 2026.

I believe strongly in the work being done and the investments being made and have agreed to remain an active participant with the leadership team and Board of Directors to help reach our goal of raising $50M for our strategic plan campaign, and look forward to continuing to interact, deepen connections and help build new ones.

In this time of reflection, I thank the many people that have made the past four plus years so amazing and successful. To our teachers, administrators, central office teams, and partner organizations, thank you for working tirelessly to make a difference in the lives of students.

Support personnel at our schools, thank you for making our buildings safe and welcoming to all. The hard work and dedication of all of these individuals has improved the lives of thousands of students and impacted communities in so many positive ways.

To the religious communities at our schools and within our neighborhoods who have supported us to provide partnership and leadership in ensuring the fidelity of our Catholic teachings remain at the heart of all we do, I thank you.

Our committed Board of Directors consistently contributes significant time and financial resources to help make a difference for our families and the neighborhoods in which they live – without them there would be no IMS.

Finally, to our donors, volunteers and supporters, who believe in our mission and support it with their resources of time, talent and treasure, you are truly difference-makers across Philadelphia and I cannot thank you enough.

The Board of Directors will begin a search for my successor immediately, and I look forward to helping in any way possible to make the transition smooth and successful moving into the next school year.

Thank you for making my time at IMS truly a highlight of my life. May God bless you, Independence Mission Schools and all those working to make a difference across our city.

All the best,
Bruce Robinson
President & CEO